Berhane Alemayoh 8-22-19
When Mrs. Fanita Fay Solomon who is doing a Nobel work for women in Tigray suggested to me to write my take condemning violence against woman in Tigray, tears started to cloud my eyes. My knees got weaker and weaker because, I grew up around men who were violent towards their wives, domestic workers and even to the local woman who owned their own business.
Old memories came to surface and started to choke me until I had to jerk myself to reality.
The abuse to our women wasn’t and isn’t just to wives. It is also to domestic workers who work day and night all year round. For instance, the domestic workers wake up before everyone, cook, bake, wash clothes, collect water from wherever water is and God knows what else has to be done. All their work has to be done before they are allowed to sleep. Some are even sexually abused after all. Why? Why? Why?
The answer is simple, it is because, we as society, have accepted this as the “norm.” It is okay to abuse “someone else’s mothers, daughters and sisters” just because we can. Shame on us!! Things must change not today or tomorrow but yesterday. It must stop. This is not what the brave Keshi Gebru and others fought for. Our woman are the back bone of our society, they are all Keshi Gebru.
I know our religion teach us violence against anyone is wrong, especially against woman and children. But, I also know our culture has tolerated violence against our women. What makes it even worse is, the laws we have in place does not encourage the victim to go after the violator. The male dominated government influenced by the culture that has tolerated violence on women in addition to male chauvinism, our woman’s plight for equality, justice and respect has gone unheard for too long. It is time we pay serious attention and train the law makers, as well as, all members of society to conduct seminars on how to tackle this sick behavior. Our women must be respected at any cost because; they are the backbone of our people. Our wonderful women are the solution to every problem. They are our shining armor. It is a shame it has taken us this long to address this serious crime. Enough is enough.
I am encouraged to see that Mrs. Fanita F. Solomon and the good women of Tigray are taking the challenge and begin to persuade the law makers to implement some rules. If I was to suggest a solution, I would say, to look into labor law and address the amount of hours domestic workers work, as well as, the minimum wage law. Family law is also important to address. Often time’s women raise kids alone because child support law is hard to enforce. Family violence is not acceptable. Violence against woman is and should be a serious crime. Violence against one woman should be looked as violence against the whole society, because it is. Violators should be persecuted to the fullest.
So, if the churches, the mosques, the universities, the schools, the associations and the Government offices and all companies conduct a seminar every six months to educate our people the importance to be against violence on our women, it will have an impact. Please let us start somewhere. And do it today!!
I realize the majority of men are good. So I call on you to support our women and their good cause.